Week of June 26 – July 2, 2015
Riders this past week: 18,312
Rider miles this past week: 162,512
DOWN IN THE TUBE
Comedian Louis CK was seen looking very sullen as he sat on a seat on the subway between Bridgehampton and Sag Harbor at 3:52 p.m. Friday. Joe Nocera of The New York Times was seen traveling from Montauk to Amagansett at 11 p.m. Friday night. George Filopoulos was seen getting off at the new Gurney’s Montauk subway station smiling broadly around that time also.
As the Fourth of July weekend approaches, our employees held a big party last Wednesday night on the roof of our office building in Hampton Bays after which, from that height, we fired off fireworks, since many of the employees won’t be seen above ground again until the holiday weekend is all over. We regret what happened to those on the street below when we set off the fireworks. It won’t happen again and are glad nobody was seriously injured. We will also pay all the fines.
THAT LONG DELAY
All our subway cars received new wheels last week, as they do every year. If we don’t replace them, it’s possible the steel wheels and steel rails could get loosey-goosey and derail, although that has never happened yet (fingers crossed). This year for the first time, Biff Aspinall, our commissioner’s brother, had made an arrangement with a Canadian company to provide us special new wheels with a small amount of rubber on them, which it was said would be quieter, easier on the ride and give us three years of life instead of one.
As each of our 32 cars has 12 wheels, this was a lot of wheels to put on, but all the trains went out at 6 a.m., as they usually do, crossed Napeague and then came up toward the Amagansett station. Unfortunately, because just this little bit of rubber raised up the cars an inch, all the cars got wedged up against the ceilings of the tunnels, with the first cars squeezing through to become fully wedged between tracks and ceiling halfway to East Hampton. All the other cars got wedged as they followed.
The passengers on board were evacuated down the emergency passageway alongside the tracks to walk to Amagansett, and for that to happen we had to power down the third rail. Thus, the system went down Thursday midnight and is still down, but we’ve instituted bus service through the Hamptons. Just go down the escalator from the street to the turnstiles, go through the turnstiles, come back up with the receipt up the up escalators and present it to the bus driver waiting on the corners there.
All this happened just after the big employee fireworks party Thursday, and as a result, all our non-union employees have been sent home until further notice without pay to fend for themselves while our union employees are off playing cards somewhere while receiving pay. We hope to have everything up and working soon. It’s just a matter of getting certain parts into the subway cars from the back end and then out the sliding doors and down onto the tracks where hydraulic jacks raise up the cars a few inches whether they like it or not so the wheels can all be changed back to the old ones. We expect the job to be done by Tuesday.
COMMISSIONER ASPINALL’S MESSAGE
My friend Vladimir Putin was scheduled to be our houseguest this past weekend, but when he learned of our current problems with the subway wheels, he deferred and said he would come next week. These things happen.